back to article Surprise UK raid of Cambridge Analytica delayed: Nobody expects the British information commissioner!

The UK data protection watchdog’s well-advertised raid of Cambridge Analytica’s offices is no closer to happening, as the High Court has adjourned the warrant application until tomorrow. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) raid is related to allegations around the controversial UK-based data analytics firm's use of …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or maybe get it ready.

      That's a nice brexit you have there it would be a shame if you have to have another vote due to manipulation.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        It would be hilarious if the investigating journalists anticipated this move and were documenting any 'removal' efforts going on at CA.

        I bet their power usage has shot through the roof - all those drives being formatted and shredders running 24*7

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          "I bet their power usage has shot through the roof - all those drives being formatted and shredders running 24*7"

          Well I hope that the journalists enquire as to whether they use smart meters or not at least.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          all those drives being formatted

          s/formatted/"meeting a 4lb lump hammer for a very non-quiet chat"/* g

          (I suspect that post-lump-hammer the data will be a lot less retrievable than if the drives were just reformatted)

      2. boltar Silver badge

        "That's a nice brexit you have there it would be a shame if you have to have another vote due to manipulation."

        Short of them actually forcing voters hand in the booth, how can they have been any more manipulative than all the hysterical newspapers and other media outlets for both leave and remain during the Brexit campaign that were all economical with the truth to a shameful degree?

        1. Apriori

          Homeopathic Persuasion!

          What you mean things like the government's £9 million pro-EU leaflet campaign, the BBC's endless denigration of the Leave campaign, or the FT / Guardian/ Economist / HM Treasury / LibDem / most MPs / Bob Geldof / Tony Blair / Ken Clarke continuous forecasts of instant economic collapse and World War 3?

          No the Russians / Cambridge Analytica / Underwear Gnomes have got a much more effective method than that. They plant secret messages on Facebook and Twitter which make people who haven't got Facebook and Twitter accounts vote in one way or another.

          Yes, the Russians / Cambridge Analytica have perfected ... Homeopathic Persuasion - the less of it there is, the more effective it is! Cunning swine! And, like homeopathy, it's most effective if it isn't actually there at all.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around.

      You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Shirley they would house the actual data offsite somewhere? I mean, if you were smart enough you could create an entirely innocuous shadow data centre, and with the click of a button, or the swap of a cable, drop in a new set of routes to a detailed analysis of which is the most popular kitten.

        1. harmjschoonhoven
          Facepalm

          @TRT

          If you were smart enough you could create an entirely innocuous shadow data centre, but CA is not smart. See how they walked with open eyes into the Ch4 trap about a Sri Lankan "client" without apparently doing any desk-research.

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

      They're certainly giving the conspiracy theories ample nourishment. And extra time to lay whatever trails may be expedient, maybe for example from CA to the Russian embassy.

    4. Peter2 Silver badge

      Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around.

      Rather more likely is that the ICO hurridly wrote a search application and threw it before the judge, and a discussion went something like this:-

      ICO: We want a search warrant, he's the form.

      Judge: This doesn't say where it's for, what your looking for, or who's allowed to execute it?

      ICO: Well, we want to look at you know, the stuff that's been in the news. And we want to execute it.

      Judge: Specify *precisely* what you are looking for and what you wish to remove from the premesis, how long for and under what authority, and specify the name of the person who is going to execute the search warrant. And who's supervising them.

      ICO: Um...?

      Judge: The legal requrements for getting a search are printed on the application form. And on the guidence sheet stapled to the back. Here's the form back, pencil in the required information and i'll judge it on that.

      ICO: I don't know, honestly. Can I make a call and get back to you in a few hours?

      Judge: No, my next job is to deal with the case that you displaced because this was urgent, but not so urgent that you could fill in the form properly. Come back in the morning with the forms filled in properly.

      ICO: But, but... we said we'd get a warrant today in the media!

      Judge: THEN FILL IN THE FORM WITH THE INFORMATION LEGALLY REQUIRED TO GET A SEARCH WARRANT!

      ICO: Um, Tommorow morning you said?

      Judge. At 9AM. Be late and i'll hear another case instead.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Powers of entry without warrant

        I believe the trick if you know what you're doing is to get a suitable other party involved in the investigation, one of those who either don't need a search warrant to enter premises(**) (HM Customs & Excise, the VAT man, now part of Inland Revenue) or I dare say getting a Child Protection Officer onside would speed things up massively (when the safety of a minor is demonstrably at risk a raft of further powers become available and warrants etc are easier to obtain).

        So if you can say "we believe that in the act of illicitly gaining access, they may have been dealing with cash in hand / back-handers / undeclared income and thereby avoiding VAT" or "we believe they may have illegally obtained details of vulnerable minors (hey, kids have Facebook a/c's too) who were then targeted individually", then it may speed things up massively.

        Whether the ICO is clued up enough to know these sorts of techniques is another thing...

        ** - Small print - IANAL, but the rules vary as to if the property is a private dwelling or commercial premises, and whether they can force entry / break-open / enter at "unreasonable times", but if HMRC appear at business premises during business hours with the right accusations, you're pretty much obliged to let them in without them having to produce a warrant and they have powers of seizure.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Powers of entry without warrant

          I believe the trick if you know what you're doing is to get a suitable other party involved in the investigation, one of those who either don't need a search warrant to enter premises(**) (HM Customs & Excise, the VAT man, now part of Inland Revenue) or I dare say getting a Child Protection Officer onside would speed things up massively (when the safety of a minor is demonstrably at risk a raft of further powers become available and warrants etc are easier to obtain).

          No, it's not. It's really, really not. And taking your list of organisations:-

          1) HM Customs & Excise is now HMRC.

          2) The VAT Man is now HMRC.

          3) The Inland Revenue is now HMRC.

          and;-

          4) HMRC require search warrants to search.

          HMRC simply obtain search warrants like clockwork because they always fill out the form correctly and make the right arguments and don't give the court any reason to throw their applications out.

          Here's the form the ICO probably didn't fill in correctly just so you can see the pitfalls.

          https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/criminal/docs/crimpr-part6-rule6-32app.pdf

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. post-truth

            Re: Powers of entry without warrant

            Good points, but they miss the "key points"

            - Criminal search warrants can be tricky, and the ICO if they're contemplating criminal charges should simply turn the matter over to the CPS, as happened in respect of all the data protection criminal convictions associated with a certain naval-sounding insurance group a few years back.

            - civil Search Orders ought to be relatively straightforward, plus the RCJ has a dedicated Applications court plus a 24/7 duty judge for genuine emergency applications, plus civil judges (paradoxically) have occasionally useful powers instantly to jail people for contempt for up to two years (without charge or trial or appeal). As with a certain notorious cellphone-not-being-switched-off-in-court episode a few years back...

            - Here's the amusing "killer" - obviously the publicity has eliminated any chance of any judge considering this an emergency or something that must be done without notice (aka ex parte aka without the other party represented at first hearing). Because if they had factual grounds to need such an order, they wouldn't have blabbed. Which in turn undermines the ICO's opportunities ever to secure the Order it seeks!

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Powers of entry without warrant

          "Whether the ICO is clued up enough to know these sorts of techniques is another thing..."

          The ICO is very clued up.

          You should be asking why the ICO has been so reluctant to take action until its hand was forced by being publicly dragged backwards through a hedge a few times and who stands to benefit most from them bolloxing up the ensuing non-investigation

        3. Richard Jukes

          Re: Powers of entry without warrant

          Not just commercial property. HMRC can turn up at a directors house with out a warrant too. They do not even have to knock, they can if they like force entry.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "Rather more likely is that the ICO hurridly wrote a search application and threw it before the judge, and a discussion went something like this:-"

        The ICO has been very pointedly ignoring CA's antics for the last 2 years until the C4 "expose" gave it no choice but to be seen to be taking action.

        But the conversation is likely to have been close to that described.

      3. eldakka Silver badge

        @Peter2

        More likely the ICO forgot to put the application in the case with a bottle of 50 year old scotch whisky.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge
          Meh

          @Peter2

          More likely the ICO forgot to put the application in the case with a bottle of 50 year old scotch whisky.

          Ah. Yes.

          Eldakka: And your honour, my closing argument is this bottle of 50 year old scotch.

          Judge: That's 10 years.

          Eldakka: No, 50 year old single malt scotch whisky.

          Judge: No, I mean that's ten years inprisonment under Section 1 of the Bribary act 2010.

          Eldakka: But...?

          Judge: Yes, there has to be a seperate trial for that with a different Judge. Along with attempting to pervert the course of justice and abuse of process. But here's six months for contempt of court now.

          Eldakka: But...!

          Judge: For the benefit of the record (and cameras) I remand "Eldakka" to six months inprisonment for contempt of court. [mutters:] Does he really think that after spending 20 years getting to this position i'm going to throw it away over a bottle of bloody scotch worth less than my daily pay?[/mutters]

    5. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around.

      Of course they do. CA are too valuable a future resource, as the recent scandal has pointed out, they apparently swayed an election in Trumps direction.

      They want to be seen to be doing something, not actually take any action.

      If CA were a normal member of the public, bang, cops crashing into your bedroom at six a.m. Kids whisked away, house turned upside down, perp walk in a half open dressing gown to flashing bulbs.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        "If CA were a normal member of the public, bang, cops crashing into your bedroom at six a.m. Kids whisked away, house turned upside down, perp walk in a half open dressing gown to flashing bulbs."

        If CA were a normal member of the public, the ICO would write a strongly worded letter telling them not to do it again.

        1. post-truth

          Fortunately under the GDPR the ICO is no longer central to to the process. Not irrelevant of course, because the ICO can still impose additional orders and punishments.

          Also, any of the other 45 Supervisory Authorities can step in and fine malefactors if they think the ICO is dragging its feet

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All the Leave.EU documents have been deleted for sure....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Anyone dumb enough to believe Brexit wasn't powered by CA? What political movement would turn down an offer of a way to win? All politicians are scumbags and will do whatever it takes....

    7. Commswonk Silver badge
      Devil

      Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around.

      Pah! Far too late for that - I triggered the Download Everything From CA App days ago.

      Bum; oh what a giveaway. (Python, M)

    8. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Clean house...

      Given the links CA claim to have with various intelligence organisations, I think it highly likely that the aforementioned intelligence organisations will want to scrub anything pertinent to "national security" before the ICO gets anywhere near it.

      Unfortunately CA has had so much advance warning of this "surprise raid" that they've probably already shredded everything incriminating at this point, which will keep both the intelligence organisations and the fraudulently elected establishment happy.

      As for justice against CA, it'll be a dog and pony show, just like the Chilcot Report, the 9/11 Commission and the FCIC. A few low-grade wrists will get slapped, but the one-percenters responsible will be protected at all costs.

    9. DougS Silver badge

      Didn't their CEO brag

      About how they were using encrypting and self destructing emails to avoid congressional oversight in the US? There may not be much for them to cover up, instead the extra day is just giving all their people time to practice saying "I'm sorry, I do not recall" for the 100th time in a row while maintaining a straight face.

    10. veti Silver badge

      No matter what they shred, when the ICO comes round they have to have something to show. And it has to look at least semi plausible to account for the known facts. Otherwise they're bang to rights for destroying evidence, which is a far more serious crime.

      Destroying the data would be easy. Replacing it - convincingly - not so much. Just ask anyone who's ever been audited...

    11. Chemical Bob
      Black Helicopters

      "Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around."

      Careful, that's a dangerous path you're starting down - implying that the establishment is/are/wuz competent...

    12. PhilipN Silver badge

      Clean house

      Yup - "Cambridge" = Friends in high, sorry, low places

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Anyone would think that the establishment are trying to give CA enough of a chance to clean their house before they have a snoop around."

      You might be on to something there. Others seem to be drifting in the same direction, with some advice to the ICO about how to do it right next time - https://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-Cambridge-Analytica-Facebook-politics-story-a-scandal/answer/Stuart-Ritchie-3

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Delivery van issue

    Looks like taking out all files received under list X entitlement from the DoD, MI5/6 and GCHQ is taking longer than expected. Surely not editing a crime scene to remove HMG involvement. We never do thing like this don't we.

    The crate pictures in the press are quite cute by the way. BIG CRATES.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A deafening sound of shredding from CA headquarters and Conservative HQ....allegedly.

    1. smartypants

      The Conservative Party has nothing to hide. We know this because Theresa May confirmed in Parliament that at this precise second the party has no contracts with CA. So that's alright then. Nothing to see here. Please move along.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        The Conservative Party has nothing to hide. We know this because Theresa May confirmed in Parliament that at this precise second the party has no contracts with CA. So that's alright then. Nothing to see here. Please move along.

        Indeed, but of course, 'has' != 'had', and 'the party' != 'party members' != 'party donors', etc.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          oh, and most importantly, 'the party' != 'the government' (technically).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Aaron Banks lied the same..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The SNP’s Ian Blackford said SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, has been run by a chairman of Oxford Conservative Association.

        He also claimed its founding chairman was a former Tory MP and a director had donated over £700,000 to the party.

        No links there then......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A deafening sound of shredding

      and such an allegation might account for the relatively small amount of coverage on the BBC.

      1. The Mole

        Re: A deafening sound of shredding

        Not sure which BBC coverage you've been ignoring, but I've seen/read/heard plenty of coverage on the web/newsfeed/tv/radio - although at the start it was slanted towards 'swaying elections' rather than 'stealing all your data'

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All that hard work...

    ...projecting an image of incompetence personified is paying off handsomely.

    No one will suspect a thing!

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: All that hard work...

      Normally one asks, what are they distracting attention from?

      The ICO may be small fry compared to, say, the government and navy, but the Russian spat and Boris's gratuitous invocation of Godwin's law are by no means small. Is the other story going wrong already?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: All that hard work...

        Is the other story going wrong already?

        IT IS. The super scary agricultural poison has been detected on the vehicle that was taking the darling daughter from the airport - 24h before they were found on the bench.

        I have now TWO Belaz worth of Popcorn on Order.

        One is for the moment when an Airbus 320 (I looked up the actual serial numbers on flightradar) is arrested somewhere in Europe and declared a crime scene for a case of smuggling (*).

        The second Belaz is to watch the involvement of the Royal Family in CA and a Mountbatten having a directorship in SCL and what does this mean constitutionally for Britain.

        The problem is - the corn merchants have run out of stock.

        (*)I suspect that it has already had an unusually professional and thorough clean. Something the company who owns it skimps on lately. They make the crew clean their plane for exta 10 quid per go instead.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do we know why this has been adjourned?

    I would also not want be Elizabeth Denham's friend if she was planning you a surprise party.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Reminds me of an old Soviet stand up comedian gag

      The gag is called Specialist and the guy doing it pretends he is answering the phone and provides all kind of information not for public consumption. You can hear only one side of the dialogue - the "Specialist" one and you are left to guess what the other side was asking for on the phone.

      Somewhere in the middle of the gag there is the following:

      The tax inspection for your premises has been delayed...Yes Delayed... It will happen suddenly without warning on the eighteenth of January at 10 am. Yes... Yes of course... Cheers".

      http://odesskiy.com/zhvanetskiy-tom-2/spetsialist.html

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me of an old Soviet stand up comedian gag

        Bit like the old Soviet gag about the man buying a car,

        "Comrade, good news! Your new Lada will be delivered on May 1st in 4 years time!"

        "Morning or afternoon?"

        "Why? It's in 4 years time!"

        "Because the plumber is coming in the morning on that day"

  6. rmason Silver badge

    Morning Boss

    Morning boss!

    Just thought i'd mention - we've had this outlook meeting request come through for a surprise inspection by the authorities.

    "Thanks Dave, tell everyone to carry on using Wikr to communicate, and lets make a start on 'problem with our backups #1' and pull up the files on who we've fired recently please, one of them will do."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overheard Conversation in Parliament.

    Minister A: Oh Crap, have you seen that documentary?

    Minister B: Yes, what do we do?

    Minister A: Well we need to be seen to be doing something and it needs to look credible without anyone finding out too much?

    Minister B: What about the I.C.O.?

    Minister A: Absolutely perfect , they are about as useless as a one legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen lake.

    Minister B: Great I'll get the boss on TV, she's as thick as Boris.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Overheard Conversation in Parliament.

      So she's actually very clever but portrays the image of a bumbling buffoon to put people off the scent?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but portrays the image of a bumbling buffoon to put people off the scent?

        Whatever Boris might use his cleverness for, it most certainly does not seem to be for the interests of either his chosen political party or his country. Thus, since his putative cleverness seems almost certainly of no use to anyone who is not-Boris, and may even be deployed harmfully, it probably would be better if he really /was/ just a buffoon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: but portrays the image of a bumbling buffoon to put people off the scent?

          Boris Johnson is one of the finest examples of what can happen if you educate somewhere well above their potential.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Overheard Conversation in Parliament.

      Minister B: Great I'll get the boss on TV, she's as thick as Boris.

      Boris has an excuse to be thick. Russians have confessed on using their ultra-secret neurotoxic gas on Boris. See it is even in her press. Even the gas name sounds right.

      What is her excuse?

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Overheard Conversation in Parliament.

      " they are about as useless as a one legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen lake."

      PMSL . You made me use the "new keyboard" icon for the first time!

  8. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Obligatory Daily Mash:

    Lib Dems harvested data from MySpace

    THE Liberal Democrats harvested data from millions of MySpace accounts, it has emerged.

    The party was found to have employed controversial tech company Humberside Analytica to comb through the data which they hope will give them an unfair advantage in the 2022 general election.

    Investigative journalist Francesca Johnson said: “It’s not just MySpace. They’ve cross-referenced with Bebo and Friends Reunited.

    “With that weight of data they’ve already run simulations which prove they could enter into a coalition with the Conservatives in the 2010 election, and after that apparently go from strength to strength.

  9. Chris G Silver badge

    Considering Steve Bannon is part of the picture, there are likely to be all kinds of things CA has been up to. I'm sure he has enough connections to bend a judges ear while a bit of Spring cleaning is done.

  10. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Why does the ICO even require a warrant?

    The emergency services can just break down your door if they suspect there is a crime being committed or if someone is at risk, this case proves the ICO is ineffectual. Also, their maximum fine is £500,000 which is peanuts for companies like Facebook, so why not add the threat of prison sentences too?

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Facepalm

    To paraphrase Groucho Marx

    They may look like idiots and talk like idiots but don't let that fool you. They really are idiots.

  12. Paul Johnson 1

    On the other hand...

    Maybe they are trying to give CA enough rope. Its not enough just to delete a few files. As others have mentioned, they will have backups. They will also have email logs, and finally they have quite a few employees and ex-employees, one of whom is already a whistleblower who knows where the skeletons are.

    If a company does something big then information about it gets scattered everywhere. So you deleted the main database. What about the scratch copy that someone made for testing purposes? What about the email with the link to the CSV files? Are you sure you got everything?

    Of course given a few weeks and plenty of manpower CA could probably get most of it, but its still going to leave any number of holes. Prof Kogan has emails assuring him that it was all legal, but where are the copies of those emails on the CA servers? If the two sides don't match, its clear evidence of the destruction of evidence.

    And destroying evidence is a crime (in the UK it comes under "perverting the course of justice"). Which means that any sensible employee at this point is either going to refuse point blank to delete stuff, or at least to demand instructions in writing. If the CA bosses don't have plenty of manpower then trying to delete a few bits of stuff ad-hoc is worse than doing nothing. And of course the senior CA people won't have read/write access to every employee mailbox. Yes, they could order the sysadmin to provide it, but see above about employees.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: On the other hand...

      They claimed at the video-taped meeting that they only use time-limited ProtonMail emails, so no email logs.

    2. Fading Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: On the other hand...

      Sysadmin at CA: Hi ICO - yep complete database is still available, it is called adventureWorks.

    3. xeroks

      Re: On the other hand...

      "Maybe they are trying to give CA enough rope."

      I'd love them to be super smart with Lizbet Salander on-side gathering evidence on the quiet. However, that's wishful thinking. CA will do either make like POTUS http://www.newsweek.com/2016/11/11/donald-trump-companies-destroyed-emails-documents-515120.html or will, as someone else suggested, have the salient data in cloud storage in another legal regime.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: On the other hand...

        "Which means that any sensible employee at this point is either going to refuse point blank to delete stuff"

        Assuming they are regular 'employees' and not on loan from some other agency.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: On the other hand...

          Which means that any sensible employee at this point is either going to refuse point blank to delete stuff, or at least to demand instructions in writing

          Yeah sure. Do not make me point you to the 1.2 MILLION documents the Foreign Office has "forgotten" to submit to the National Archive https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/26/government-admits-losing-thousands-of-papers-from-national-archives

          Or the files MoD pretends have asbestos on them. Or the files in British Military intelligence related to organizing the flight for Franco to the Canaries and the rivers of blood which resulted from that (those disappeared completely without a trace along with the personnel record of the officer involved). Or...

          Despite my acute allergy to the b*stards at the Russian Embassy in London, I have to admit that their observations on UK Government having a historic form on tampering with evidence are not unfounded. Though in their case it is a classic case of recognizing things they themselves are intimately familiar with.

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: On the other hand...

            Or the file on establishment paedophiles that Theresa May misplaced.

  13. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Elizabeth Denham "make sure you're not late tomorrow, you'll miss your surprise birthday party!"

    Nonplussed friend "errm... I'm washing my hair"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nolnaH's razor

    "Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice."

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think it matters that the ICO announced on TV that she was going to obtain a warrant as it would have already been obvious this would be her next course of action.

    What does matter is why it's taking so long to obtain the warrant. The police only need suspicion to obtain a warrant so why does it take multiple hearings for the ICO to obtain one? The ICO should have been able to go to a judge on Monday night, obtained the warrant, and then straight to the relevant premises to secure evidence. Something is very wrong here and needs to be fixed immediately, even if primary legislation is needed.

    Unfortunately these shenanigans has tainted the ICO's investigation and the conclusions will always be treated with suspicion..

    Hopefully a credited journalist was at the hearing and we will get a proper report of the court shenanigans.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Hopefully a credited journalist was at the hearing and we will get a proper report of the court shenanigans.

      I should think, unless the hearing was heard in camera, that the entire public gallery will have been stuffed with journalists.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        ...of course, there's nothing to say that there was nobody waiting outside the aforementioned public gallery handing out D-notices to everyone on the way in.

  16. mintus55

    royal connections?

    i thought the delay was there to scrub any royal connections from the servers.

    Iver Mountbatten is on the board of SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, along with a bunch of other people who need protecting.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: royal connections?

      Iver Mountbatten

      This is getting better by the minute.

      Where is that BLOODY BELAZ FULL OF POPCORN!!! I thought I ordered it last week.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: royal connections?

        Popcorn is in short supply right now due to that actions of your government (east side of pond) and our government (west side of pond). Please be patient as the suppliers are working overtime to meet demand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: royal connections?

      I did not know this.

      http://powerbase.info/index.php/Strategic_Communication_Laboratories

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: royal connections?

        http://powerbase.info/index.php/Strategic_Communication_Laboratories

        Powerbase infromation is incomplete. For example Wheatland - the SCL chairman.

        He also claims to be the CEO of a company called Cosmos Technologies registered in Sofia according to LinkedIn. You have to trawl Bulgarian business register for full information.

        Company registration number for that looks like 200828456. What is that one doing is in the realm of god knows. No public information. No employees. Recent accounts are not public yet so turnover after 2013 is unclear, 2013 showed around 200K UK pounds.

        It is a classic case of web of webs of webs of webs. Who is the spider on the other side we do not know. I am not sure we want to know (even if it is the spider which writes "spider letters").

  17. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Alien

    Someone call David Ike!

    The lizards' lair has been found!

  18. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    I don't believe any of this. It has to be fake news. No oversight organisation could be so inept.

    I'm going back to reading that article on how "Trump's hair is not like plasticy ... polyester like" from "My Hair Weekly - a Trumpton Publication"

  19. Cheesemouse

    Right! That's it!

    Oooooh you're in for it now

    Just you wait.

    When we come you're going to be sorry

    Yes siree

    I wouldn't like to be in your shoes when we get there

    Yeah you've got it coming to you.................hello..........hello

  20. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    From the Grauniad (reporting shennanigans in parliament)

    Hancock was responding to a Commons question from Labour’s Liam Byrne, who said it was “ludicrous that it has taken so long for her to get a search warrant for Cambridge Analytica’s officers, and it is ludicrous that people frustrating her investigations do not face jail for that frustration”.

    Hancock began by criticising Byrne for his “abrasive tone” and said “the data protection bill currently before parliament is all about strengthening this enforcement”. But he added: “If following evidence from this investigation we need to further strengthen those powers, then I am willing to consider that.”

    Byrne may be fing useless most of the time, but he has a point - Hancock will sweep it under the carpet, along with the dead cockroaches.

  21. unwarranted triumphalism

    No surprise that the ICO admits that they have no grounds to go in mob-handed with pickaxe handles.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's how it should have went....Guardian contacts ICO and lets them see the documentary, ICO raids the offices as the doc is being shown. If the ICO delays then the Guardian has another juicy story about the delay....

    or something like that

    meh

  23. N2 Silver badge

    Nobody expects the British inquistition led by Cardinal Fang...

    Our main elements are: fear, suprise and a fanatical devotion to the Pope...

    Apart from the fact Cardinal fang dosnt have any teeth, never mind give it a week or two and everyone will have forgotten about it.

  24. Speckled Jim
    Unhappy

    Popcorn's getting expensive.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Should have bought shares in the stuff.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) raid

    is it the announced raid that never happened, or the announced raid that never happened? I never get which one of them actually never happened?

    p.s. and let's not forget about the angry letter they need to send out before the unannounced raid they're going to announce...

  26. Woza
    Coat

    From Red Dwarf - Demons and Angels

    KRYTEN: I'm going to come around behind you now, sir.

    LISTER: Okay, Kryten, take me by surprise!

    KRYTEN: I'm coming around behind you to take you by surprise, sir.

    LISTER: Get on with it, surprise me!

    KRYTEN: You may get an unpleasant sensation of chloroform. Don't be

    alarmed.

    LISTER: Surprise me now!

    KRYTEN: Here comes my surprise, sir.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed this, been out all day

    Which judge did you say was in the video with the nice Ukrainian girls?

    Whoops, should this be in the porn censorship thread instead?

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Missed this, been out all day

      There is a story in The Guardian just now that ties the two stories together. An award winning journalism student accused her boyfriend of leaking nude selfies online and he denied it. She'd sent them via Facebook. It's entitled "What I learned when naked pictures of me were leaked online", apparently not ironically.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if CA also supplied data....

    ..to the US Army that left that Amazon "cloud" unsecured?

  29. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The Deep State Breaks Surface

    "It took me a minute to find out that Cambridge Analytica is owned by a British company, SCL Ltd, which in effect does exactly the same activities in the UK that Cambridge Analytica was undertaking in the US. I then looked up SCL on Bloomberg."

    Elizabeth Denham to Cambridge Analytica, can we have a look at your records please to determine if you are engaged in illegal activity.

    Cambridge Analytica to Elizabeth Denham, we din do nuffin, now bog off.

  30. Drew 11

    It's only a raid if it is sudden and unannounced.

    Too late for that now.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly for a delay of this magnitude the Ukrainian call girls must have been very successful in their past endeavours.

  32. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Eaton connection

    CA bosses just needed a little more time to be sure the compromising papers were fully digested... thanks pal!

  33. Geekpride
    Flame

    What are the odds?

    I wonder if I can find a bookie who'll take a bet on there being an "accidental" fire at CA before this search takes place.

  34. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Shut That Door!

    Cambridge Analytica: High Court grants search warrant for London offices

    Decision comes four days after Elizabeth Denham says she wants access to records

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cambridge-analytica-facebook-high-court-grants-search-warrant-london-offices-data-a8271236.html

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